Feb 7, 2013 6:30pm EST
obama's choice to head the cia in the second term, was grilled by both democrats and republicans at a confirmation hearing today. and it got off to a raucous and noisy start, with protesters and questions about the agency's controversial drone policy and interrogation programs. nbc's andrea mitchell covering in our oh washington newsroom. andrea, it's not every day you hear the order oh to have the hearing room cleared. >> reporter: not indeed. in fact, the senate historians said they can't recall this happening going back to the '60s and '70s. john brennan promised to be open to congress if he is confirmed to lead the cia. even as the white house still limited access to key documents in a hearing that did not get off to a smooth smart. >> members of the committee, i'm honored to appear before you today. [ heckling ] >> polilease remove this woman. we will recess. >> reporter: when john brennan did get to testify, he said he opposed the harsh interrogations during the bush administration when he was at the cia. even though in 2007, brennan said those enhanced interrogation techni
Feb 10, 2013 6:30pm EST
during the nice weather today. lester, back to you. >>> on tuesday night, president obama will deliver the first state of union address of his second term. and despite all the attention that gun violence and immigration have been getting in recent weeks, the economy will be the president's major theme. we have more on this tonight from nbc white house correspondent peter alexander. hi, peter. >> reporter: hi, lester. good evening to you. unlike his inaugural address last month, senior advisers to the president say that his state of the union address will be more specific, more policy and agenda-oriented as the president charts out his from posed course for the next year. heading into his fifth annual address before congress tuesday night, senior administration officials say mr. obama will focus on jobs and the economy, echoing familiar themes about strengthening the nation's middle class. >> our economy grows when everybody's getting a fair shot and getting a fair shake. >> reporter: the president will emphasize the value of spending on education to give americans the skills they need.
Feb 5, 2013 6:30pm EST
. >> reporter: drones have been called president obama's weapon of choice. during his four years as commander in chief, u.s. military and cia drone strikes have accelerated in an unprecedented pace. more than 400 cia strikes against targets in pakistan and yemen. eight times as many as under president bush. >> they have been very precise, precision strikes against al qaeda, and their affiliates. >> these strikes are legal. they are ethical. and they are wise. >> reporter: but today, new questions about drone strikes targeting american citizens, including anwar al awlaki. born in new mexico, and killed in yemen in 2011. he allegedly directed the so-called underwear bomber, who tried to blow up an airliner over detroit in 2009. but awlaki was never charged with a crime. nbc news has obtained this confidential 16-page justice department memo that concludes lethal strikes against u.s. citizens, who are operational leaders of al qaeda, are a lawful act of national self-defense. >> we only take these kinds of actions when there's an imminent threat, when capture is not feasible, and when we are con
Feb 11, 2013 6:30pm EST
charged with his murder. >>> an american hero was honored today at the white house. president obama awarded the medal of honor to retired army staff sergeant clinton romesha for his incredible bravery during one of the most fierce attacks in our nation's longest war. after today's emotional ceremony in the east room, there are now 80 living recipients of our nation's highest award for military valor. our report tonight from our pentagon correspondent, jim miklaszewski. >> reporter: wedged deep into a valley surrounded by soaring mountains, combat outpost keating in eastern afghanistan was a death trap. for staff sergeant clint romesha, it was indefensible. >> every which direction you looked, you were looking straight up at the mountain. >> reporter: romesha and the other soldiers at cop keating were under constant attack. but in october 2009, the taliban launched the most ferocious assault ever. and unleashed a deadly downpour of fire like shooting fish in a barrel. >> 360 degrees, we were taking, you know, rfgs, machine gunfire, mortar fire was coming in. i mean, it was accurate.
Feb 19, 2013 6:30pm EST
: with no budget deal in sight, an automatic spending cuts just days away, president obama said today it was the fault of congressional republicans. >> they haven't come together and done their jobs, and so as a consequence, we've got these automatic, brutal spending cuts. >> reporter: republicans blame the president. >> the president, back in the last session of congress, refused to cut spending in any place. >> reporter: they're fighting over a sequester. washingtonspeak for the $1.2 trillion across-the-board spending cuts that would begin march 1st unless congress and the president agree on a deficit-cutting package. >> the problem with it is it doesn't distinguish between wasteful spending and very good spending. >> reporter: through 2021, it means cutting $85 billion a year, half from the pentagon, half from nondefense programs. everything from education to national parks to meals on wheels. exempt from the cuts, programs like social security and veterans' benefits and student loans. the administration warns federal food inspectors would be temporarily furloughed. that could mean
Feb 16, 2013 6:30pm EST
barack obama's senate seat. today at a rally held by operation push, the group founded by his father, family members stood by jackson. we can make it through this period of time. i love my brother. i will stand with him until the end of time. >> reporter: jackson and his wife are expected to plead guilty in washington next week. he faces up to five years in prison but his lawyers will likely argue to lower that taking his medical problems into account. lester? michael isikoff, thanks. >>> overseas today a deadly explosion ripped through a crowded marketplace in the city of quietta pakistan injuring more than 180 people and killing 60. the bombing occurred near a school and killed a number of children. it appears to be the latest in a series of attacks carried out by sunni militants against the minority shiite community. >>> as pope benedict prepares to say farewell at the end of the month there is talk of yet another break from church tradition. the church usually observes a 15 to 20-day waiting period following a papal vacancy to give cardinals time to travel to rome. but church off